Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines for their signings of Shohei Ohtani, Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Teoscar Hernández this offseason, in addition to trading for Tyler Glasnow and bringing back several key players.
Among them is Clayton Kershaw, who reportedly agreed to terms on a one-year contract that includes a player option for 2025.
The left-hander didn’t have much of a market in free agency after undergoing surgery to repair the glenohumeral ligaments and capsule in his left shoulder, but he has also stated he would only play for the Dodgers or Texas Rangers moving forward.
Kershaw now faces a long rehab process and is not expected to pitch until the second half of the 2024 season.
Despite this, the Dodgers maintained hope that Kershaw would return for a 17th season with the team. The three-time Cy Young Award was appreciative of the club’s interest and giving him all the time he needed to make a decision, via SportsNet LA:
“It was a good offseason to kind of be home and talk with Ellen and try to figure everything out. Once we decided to get the surgery and want to play again, that was kind of a process in and of itself, and just kind of did that with Ellen. And then I think over time, I can’t say enough good things about Andrew (Friedman) and the way he handled everything, and even ownership, Mark and Todd, all the way down. They just really gave me the time to figure things out. And once I decided to come back, it was just everybody has been great. So I felt wanted, even though I’m kind of damaged goods right now. It was a good feeling.”
Kershaw’s new deal including a player option gives him some flexibility in the event he hits a snag in getting back on the mound this year. It also would allow for Kershaw to be part of the same starting rotation as Shohei Ohtani next year.
Although the 35-year-old dealt with a left shoulder injury for roughly half of the 2023 season, he was still effective when healthy and went 13-5 with a 2.46 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 24 starts.
Clayton Kershaw shares rough timeline for return
Kershaw recently said that he hopes to return to a big league mound at some point during July or August.
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